Out of gas? What green regulations could mean for classics

by John D. Stoll
13 June 2021 5 min read
Photo by Carol Gould

Curtailing tailpipe emissions is a centerpiece of the Biden administration’s clean-air strategy, and some lawmakers have pushed for a phase-out of gasoline and diesel vehicles within the next couple decades.

It’s nearly impossible to find industry experts or environmentalists who think such a ban would spell the end for classic cars, but growing sentiment against the internal combustion engine could cause collectors headaches in years to come.

An Environmental Protection Agency official told Hagerty Insider that the current wave of legislation and rule-making is aimed at mandating standards for new cars. “The public policy focus is on the future fleet, and what it will look like, especially on the pace of electrification,” this official said. 

President Joseph Biden has announced plans to consider toughening emissions standards, subsidizing car-charging infrastructure and creating “alternative-fuel corridors.” But Biden, the son of a car salesman and a collector himself, hasn’t shown an appetite to slap new rules at his fellow enthusiasts.

While federal decision makers focus on the future, local lawmakers and politicians do have the power to mess with history. Among the buzziest examples is London’s designation of a low-emissions zone. Zero-emissions zones are either in the works or in discussion in Berkeley, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, with officials looking at outright bans to forcing delivery services to only use battery-electric vehicles. Internationally, there are plans for experimentation with zero-emissions zones in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Milan, Seoul, Oslo, and Auckland. It’s worth noting the U.K.’s green-car regulations generally have exceptions for classic cars, but opponents say such exemptions might not extend to newer classics.

“These things have a way of spreading,” Malcolm McKay, an automotive writer working in leadership of the newly formed Historic & Classic Vehicles Alliance in the U.K., said. Many of the tools regulators use to clean up roads, including smog tests, could someday discourage those wanting to begin collecting.

While federal decision makers focus on the future, local lawmakers and politicians do have the power to mess with history. Among the buzziest examples is London’s designation of a low-emissions zone.

McKay noted there are a lot of new mandates emerging that impose hefty fees on classic car owners and seriously cripple the jobs and income that the hobby supports. Some currently may affect a particular class of vehicles, such as diesel vans, trucks or small busses, but “the danger is that this sort of rulemaking starts expanding. It’s something we have to monitor all the time.”

And let’s not ignore the elephant in the room: Classics do pollute. The average vehicle sold in U.S. dealerships (car or truck) achieves roughly 25 miles per gallon, traveling about twice as far on the same amount of fuel as a car built when the EPA first started tracking corporate average fuel economy in the early 1970s. A host of technological advances and new components, meanwhile, has caused the grams of carbon dioxide per gallon to plummet over the past 30 years. 

“Emissions of classics are terrible compared to a modern vehicle,” David Cooke, senior vehicles analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists, said.

Shelie Miller, a professor who directs the University of Michigan’s Program in the Environment, recently studied the emissions created during Detroit’s annual Woodward Dream Cruise, a gathering of tens of thousands of motorists driving classics down the Motor City’s main drag. Her conclusion: The event has a carbon footprint of roughly 400 metric tons of C02, nearly equivalent to the annual footprint of eight U.S. households.

Miller, however, notes these types of gatherings are not representative of a typical classic-car utilization, or contribution to climate change. While transportation is estimated to be responsible for one-third of all global warming, she said, that label encompasses all the ways people get from Point A to Point Z—ranging from scooters and semis to planes and trains. Classics contribute a miniscule share.

“Generally, they’re not your daily driver and the mileage is going to be limited,” Cooke said. The Federal Highway Administration estimates a Class 8 truck is driven more than 60,000 miles annually, meaning a semi clocks more mileage in two weeks than a classic car travels in the typical year. (The average classic vehicle insured with Hagerty gets driven 2212 miles a year.)

Also working in classic cars’ favor is that they’re relatively rare. As we’ve reported before, the natural attrition of older cars means the vast majority of the older “guzzlers” have already left the road.

The Federal Highway Administration estimates a Class 8 truck is driven more than 60,000 miles annually, meaning a semi clocks more mileage in two weeks than a classic car travels in the typical year. 

That said, newer cars are more durable—a concern from a climate standpoint, Cooke said. Today’s vehicles last longer but corporate average fuel economy improvements have barely budged over the past decade. That means that the “long tail” of vehicle emissions isn’t getting meaningfully shorter with each new model year. 

Number crunchers are hard at work trying to estimate the ideal lifespan for a vehicle, Miller said. Recycle a car too soon, and a lot of the energy used to make that car will be wasted; wait too long, and its poor emissions performance will outweigh the value of keeping it alive. 

Reliable older cars benefit lower-income Americans needing reliable transportation, which is good for the economy but arguably bad for the environment. This can lead to a tricky balancing act for those trying to weigh a collector’s interests against environmental goals.

In 2004, for instance, then-California Assemblywoman Sally Lieber (who, like President Biden, counts a car salesman for a father and claims classic-car enthusiast status) drew criticism from collectors—including Jay Leno—for coming up with the idea to expand smog checks to progressively older vehicles over time. The rule had been cars 29 years and under had to be checked, but her proposal locked in the grandfather clause only for cars built in 1975. 

As the years have gone on, the cars eligible for smog checks have gotten older and older. This, along with the state’s older-vehicle recycling incentives, help cut off faster the “long tail” of emissions Cooke referenced. 

Nevada Assemblyman Howard Watts, representing residents of Las Vegas and surrounding cities, said legislators need to be careful not to punish collectors when trying to take old cars off the road, or force repairs to maintain healthy emissions levels. His recent bill, aimed at reducing the amount of Nevadans registering classic-car plates, has been signed into law.

About a decade ago, Nevada started allowing owners of vehicles 20 years or older to obtain these plates. The number of such plates has ballooned, from 5000 to 6000 cars in 2011 to about 30,000 now. Why? A classic plate exempts you from a smog check as long as you commit to driving less than 5000 miles annually. 

“Over the years, word got around that the world’s worst kept secret is the DMV has no way of enforcing the 5000-mile limit,” Watts said. 

“So you find there are low-income folks running a small landscaping company out of someone’s house and using a beat-up F-150 with a classic plate on it. Or someone is driving a 1990-something Toyota Camry and there is nothing classic about it but it’s got a classic plate….we had to close the loophole (and) keep the integrity of the classic plate.”

“Instead of being stopped in a parking lot and told ‘what a lovely car,’ now it’s a question. They say ‘that is a really polluting car, isn’t it?’”

Malcolm McKay, Historic & Classic Vehicles Alliance

The solution is to require anyone with a classic plate to carry classic-car insurance, a move that most serious hobbyists have already made, he said. To help lower-income drivers make repairs or replace cars after failing an emissions test, legislators approved a small smog-check fee that will soon go into place.   

McKay, with the U.K.’s Historic & Classic Vehicles Alliance, said protecting enthusiasts from rules perceived to unfairly target classic cars can be as much about fighting well-meaning but misguided lawmakers as it is about fighting public opinion. 

Recently, as London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s aggressive stance against internal-combustion-engine vehicles has gained traction, classic-car owners have seen a shift in sentiment. “Some have really noticed a difference,” he said. “Instead of being stopped in a parking lot and told ‘what a lovely car,’ now it’s a question. They say ‘that is a really polluting car, isn’t it?’”


  • JON F HOLSTEEN says:

    When will a realistic calculation be made for the true environmental impact caused by the generation of electricity to operate an electric car? And to manufacture the batteries and components. Plus disposal?

  • John Cover says:

    Is it true older cars above 35 mph generate approximately the same pollution as a modern car. Modern cars do produce less pollution in traffic

  • Phil Z says:

    Yet another unthought out scheme that ultimately will do more harm, or at least in on than good. Right up there with ethanol

  • Terry Kilmartin says:

    Great question Jon, but politicians never answer questions like that. They just skirt around them and say things like “moving forward” and blah, blah, blah.

  • Don Homuth says:

    That question might have been important when electrical generation was so dependent on coal burning power plants. But as those are phased out, it’s becoming less so. The environmental effect under discussion does not include such externalities as mining costs, but is focused more on the generation mostly of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses. EVs won’t generate those.

  • Don Homuth says:

    At the moment, it hasn’t been “thought out” at all. These are early draft proposals up for further consideration and evaluation. It is possible that IC engines will be “zoned out” of inner urban areas, rather like horses in cities were similarly zoned into the country when the IC engine became popular. Genuine “collector” cars will be dealt with more as an exception report than as major pollution contributors, and those who are playing with collector licenses as a means of getting around smog testing will eventually find that won’t be a useful ploy. Which is fine.

  • Rod says:

    I am a retired fleet manager in California. In the 90’s we were required to do our own in-house testing and submit a report to the state. I purchased the required testing equipment and began the tail pipe testing. It was surprising to see that some of the older vehicles were quite clean. As I was curious to know just how “dirty” cars of the 30’s 40’s and 50’s were, we tested a few. Asking a few of the co-workers to bring in their collector cars (after work of course) we found that many were quite clean. Now days, as I understand, testing is done by connecting to the onboard diagnostics. No tail pipe testing is done for cars newer than a given year where the computer records emission data.
    It is very unfortunate that there is not enough thought given to the entire scope of what makes bad air and who does it.

  • Roger says:

    The environmental impact of classic cars depends on their total vehicle-miles traveled (VMT). As a percentage of total on-road VMT, I strongly suspect that the classic car factor is quite small – small percentage of fleet and lower than average miles driven per vehicle. So I cannot imagine a scenario in which one could justify limitations on classic car ownership or operation in the foreseeable future.

  • Greg McDowell says:

    Isn’t driving an old car recycling at it’s finest? Todays cars are future garbage and appear to be less recyclable and probably are worse when you add it all up

  • Ken Sousa says:

    So I gather that I won’t be able to drive my gasoline powered cars around here in California while I search for ammunition for my legal firearms. Doesn’t anyone (including you guys) get it? When the left finishes their war on fossil fuels, where will we get the petroleum based fuels to power our classics and, if available, at what price? Come on Hagerty, don’t be so woke.

  • Paul says:

    I have owned 5 classic GM 67-70 Camaros and Chevelles and a 78
    Porsche 911. On a good year I would put on less than 500 miles, quite often only 200 miles. Most are trips to local cruises. The bulk of time it was in my garage to tinker with or do improvements. Most of it is a social thing to interact with other enthusiasts. I don’t see this as a big issue as applied to me and thousands like me. Like everything else, eventually it will turn into a cash grab. In my province we can no longer license a classic car for half a year.

  • Raymond Dutra says:

    California can’t handle Summer BLACKOUTS now when all the A/C is turned on. Wait until everyone starts plugging in their car every night, they will be turning off streetlights. Should be a riot.

  • greg chown says:

    The carbon footprint to produce a new car far exceeds the emissions from an older car. The pollution involved only stops at the tailpipe.

  • Richard says:

    News Flash: The pollution comes from China and India. Start there!

  • Fred Koch says:

    It’s by and far time to move to an extremely remote, rural area with my modern classics and stay well hidden. This is getting ridiculous.
    If you believe that carbon dioxide is a pollutant, I have several bridges I want to sell you. It’s by and far time people do their own research and look up the real data on these things, that shows what’s really happening. CO2 greens the planet, for one.
    The entire “woke” carbon-emission scam is all part of a worldwide effort to reduce people’s mobility, don’t think that it will end with cars and trucks, they’ll soon go after air travel as well. But, of course what’s for thee is NOT for me, when it comes to those elites.
    The entire reason for electrification is not to reduce any “footprint” on the Earth, look at what it takes to make the lithium batteries and what’s done to the planet to get it, but of course, it’s China who’s got most of it, so who cares, right?
    They want the general population to stay in their soon to be “designated areas” and as mentioned, unarmed, and not owning anything, and “you’ll be happy”. Look it up…. it’s all out there.

  • Independent Thinking says:

    It is far better to let 12 guilty men go free then it is to convict one innocent man. When these individuals stop harming innocent individuals with their mandates, then and only then can we have a meaningful discussion. Punishing innocent individuals isn’t the answer. The vast majority of classic cars are well maintained and it costs a lot of money to restore one. Often more so than the price of a new car… Maybe we should ban politicians from being in office for more than six years total (any position) including combined years???

  • Alison says:

    Having a ’96 that has OBD2, even with Antique plates, it is still required to have the emissions test in Chicago. So with a stand alone ECU that doesn’t have OBD2, I can not get it tested. I would like to note: even with the modifications to the car, it still gets better mileage and emissions than it did stock!
    Keep in mind that most replacement parts are better than what was available when the car was new and most enthusiast spend more time on maintenance and improvements than new car owners. Also the mileage or time restrictions of antique plates reduces the time running the antique.
    That being said, address the vehicle outside of the test zone!

  • RR says:

    I’m surprised that 2,212 is the average # of miles, seems high. Reason I say is if Hagerty is using the “insured miles” 1500-3000-5000 miles, most people go high to be on the safe side. I have a number of collector cars and if I get 1500 on one in a year I’m doing pretty good. And I don’t mean I’m spreading the miles around, every summer is pretty much the same, one down for something, another still in storage, and hopefully one useable.

  • Mr. Mercury says:

    A comment about the lead photo for this article. Gasoline cans are Red, blue containers are for Fuel oil, not gasoline. In most states it is illegal to dispense gasoline in to any container that is not red and marked for gasoline. ( except when fueling a vehicle)

  • Harvey A Ward Jr says:

    Why is there never any discussion including pollution involved in making the materials and components of modern cars? I think the specialty chemicals, minerals, processes need to build todays cars and trucks pollute more than the combined makeup of antique and classics and their easy modifications to make them less pollutive and fossil fuel use.
    How much pollution goes into making those batteries and and their hazardous rnd of life dolisposal/reclamation?

    • dario says:

      as many of you mentioned ,they don’t mentioned the pollution that is been created producing batteries that will last 9 years if is not been mentioned at all ,this Administration is more focused on business than clean environment .I own two classics cars and I drive those cars 200 miles at most ,maybe ,during summers to local car shows ,so how that pollution coming out of them compares a newly build car?plus the pollution created every time you charge them ( yes making electricity pollutes too in most of the plants we have in the us ) I have another one are they also going to make airliners fly on solar panels ? are they going to make cruise ships run on solar panels or wind power too? .Can’t wait to vote this mental retard out along with all his puppets .

  • Old Guy says:

    I’ll hide my classics and when I light one off, I’ll crank up “Red Barchetta” by Rush and realize just how prophetic Geddy Lee really was.
    Today’s narrative on all things, not just classic cars and boats, tells me it’s good to be near my sell-by date because this next generation of skinny-jeaned, purple haired freaks is laying the groundwork for the demise of our country as we know it.

  • John Ehle says:

    The focus on carbon footprint seems to have disappeared in the last 10+ years. Why is that? It seems like a focus on pure emissions is a short-term one, although I suppose short-term focus is the name of the game when politicians are almost exclusively focused on their next re-election bid. But we’re not going to solve air quality issues in the short term. This is a long-game discussion, and carbon footprint has to be part of it. To an earlier point, compare the carbon footprint of a classic car with that of a modern hybrid or electric. Once that’s been properly understood, then well-thought-out actions can be taken.

  • Mark says:

    I think that some carbon neutral fuels have some real promise. Don’t see them being mentioned very much though. If we could truly find a carbon neutral fuel, our classics would definitely be more environmentally friendly then any new car considering the amount of energy used to create a new car alone.


    The issue at hand is best answered by a long held law of fairness and NOT having politicians who are bought and sold like commodities decide how to limit our freedom to choose our pastimes. Let us rely on the fairness used by generations before us by continuing EXEMPTION for individuals to own/operate vehicles that were approved before the implementation of new regulations, or laws.
    Stop the electric “Dream” the grid barely handles our need now ! We are living on the edge of a brownout everyday.

  • Don Freeman says:

    Also of note: My collector cars of choice (British) get much better mileage than my SUV and pickup. In other words, old does not necessarily equate to gas guzzler.

  • Carl says:

    I own 73 dodge d100
    Last year 447 miles
    Over winter did transmission conversion
    This year so far 68 miles
    Classic vehicles are the least of the problem but I foresee a tax grab in the future

  • Dick says:

    Great discussion people! Seems we’re all on the same page. Go after the real polluters and leave us alone!!

  • Glenn Stephens says:

    Wow, what a bunch of grumpy old farts. You people should get your old cars out and drive them before the woke army outlaws internal combustion. Maybe it will improve your dispositions.

  • John Gunnell says:

    Much of the social history of the Western World over the past three decades has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good. –Thomas Sowell

  • Jeff says:

    A few years ago I had my 56 Fairlane restored. Had I put in an electric motor, would the battery still be useable in 20 years? Part of the beauty of owning a car like that is that tuned exhaust.
    I recognize that we need to change transportation for the masses however, since I’m one of those 2,000 mile a year drivers, I hope they leave legitimate classics like that alone!

  • David Abel says:

    As an Arizona home owner, I notice that most of the efforts to limit auto emissions is coming from California. Maybe they should keep their lame emission laws to themselves.
    We left that sorry state in 1988 and never looked back. And as the owner of both a 1966 Corvette convertible and a 1969 Shelby GT350 Fastback, I doubt either car would win awards for mileage. But both run well on 91 Octane gas, don’t burn oil, and the Shelby actually passed Arizona emissions inspection when I bought it in 2018!

  • Kenneth Hrabb says:

    Everyone should check into the pollution levels that are greatly exceeded when CHINA makes the batteries.
    They are buying up all of the mining locations that they need for the production of the batteries, and are making great profits.
    So much for the eco friendly cars.

  • Mark Monteiro says:

    None of my collector cars reach 1000 miles yearly. Some don’t even go at all. My suburban neighbors driving Armadas and the like which achieve 13 mpg sort of hark back to the mid-sixties, but I know they at least burn cleaner. No one has accused me in a parking lot of polluting, and most people, even younger ones, genuinely enjoy seeing the older cars running around. I’m more concerned that fuel will be taxed into the stratosphere in the next decade to “encourage” electric vehicles, depending upon which administration is passing out executive orders. I hope to enjoy this hobby for another 10-15 years before it gets too complicated.

  • Fred says:

    My 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV will be registered as a Classic Vehicle. Because of the backlog at the Nevada DMV my appointment is set for mid July. The car may or may not be operational by then. Should I expect trouble?

  • RR65 says:

    Can’t believe how pleasantly surprised I am to see a group of thinking people collected in one spot. Hope the media and government don’t find out about this. However, if this collective group and many other like minded people don’t bombard all elected officials on both sides of the isle we can guarantee a minority of money hungry political extremists will have their way. As a former district chairman, of one of our top two political parties, in one of the top 5 largest cities in the U.S., I could never seem to get through to anyone that complaining to the choir was a waist of time. Sadly, we have a lot of great minds and determined people who could get involved that simply site back and let a few redraw our lives and freedoms. I sincerely hope everyone who comments or simply reads this article makes numerous/frequent calls to each of their elected leaders at all levels, city, county, state and fed. If we don’t commit to persevering through these times, the discussion of gas or electric will be the least of our concerns in short order.

  • Dantheman says:

    As always the commenters nailed it.
    An old car still being used regularly is displacing the coal burning used to manufacture the steel use to maker a new one.
    Older cars (pre muscle car era) have lower compression rations and thus lower NOx emissions.
    I have read stories about early 1950’s Cadillac’s getting 20 MPG and having low emissions on regular gas because of the refinery improvements in gasoline production from the 70-80 octane days.
    Electric power sounds like a cure-all but relative to CO2 nuclear plants are approaching end of life and solar has shown that it isn’t that robust. Solar sounds great but no one seems to be talking about the life cycle cost of the panels from a hazardous materials standpoint. CApacity factors on wind are in the 30% range. Natural gas and coal are still the backbone of power plants fuels in the USA.

  • Scott says:

    Here is what I have been warning people of when it comes to the EV invasion.

    The truth is EV products are coming. No it is not going to be an overnight transition but over the next 20-30 years. It is clear cost and charging times are coming down while ranges will be as good or better than a tank of fuel. The increased investment into this field has made it a deal of not if but when and now they have a good idea.

    Many hobbies and enthusiast still to down play this but denial is no longer an option.

    What this means is we need to move now to protect this hobby. If we do not start now it may be too late and those who care less about us or our numbers will do what they like and cancel us.

    It has already happened where the EPA under a previous but similar administration to what we hav3 now tried to reinterpret standing law the way they wanted it. Their move was to make it illegal to remove or modify any emission items from a new car even if it is for racing and off road use only. This would kill the armature racing and drag racing.

    Some of our friends in Washington have been working the RPM act to prevent this improper reinterpreted federal law from taking place.

    If they are willing to try this they will at some point go for our cars.. Odds are they will not go for our cars directly but for the fuels, oils and parts we need.

    We all need to band together to fight this as it is coming.

    I work in the performance industry. We have acknowledged that the EV products are coming as we are now making plans for performance parts for EV products. We also have led the fight with SEMA to protect racing and ICE performance. I have written to and even been visited by House and Senate members who are willing to stand for our hobby.

    We should really be aware those we vote for on where they stand on things like this.

    Some work is being done on synthetic fuels and other things to protect our hobby.

    The harsh reality is the auto industry is no longer going to fight the move to EV. They see lower cost to build cars and much lower development with them in the future. ICE cost will only increase to meet tougher emissions. It is pure economics now.

    Much like the horse is much like how ICE will give way to EV. The first ICE cars were short ranged, unreliable, unsupported and expensive. It took 20 years to really become the norm.

    So fight, keep informed and read on what is going on. These changes will be tried and you will not see them on the front page.

    • END TIMES says:

      It saddens me that by owning admiring / polishing and driving your petolleum fuel car thus polluting the air we ALL breath just for your pleasure is very very wrong …….gas cars must be forcibly removed and crushed and never allowed on our roads again they have cause irreversible damage to our environment

      • Giuseppe says:

        The truth is that the EV will save the planet is a hoax. There are a lot people who will get dirty rich with the EV, but I hope that the e-fuels will prevail so we can keep our classic cars – especially the classic muscle cars. I love the sound of an engine coming out from exhaust pipes of a 600 hp car. I love carburetors, headers, spark plugs, oil change, transmission fluid change… anything that has to do with an ICE. I have an 1981 Camaro Z/28 that has 600 hp, and I love her more than any other car in the world. I really hope that e-fuels will become a reality before it’s too late. Stop cutting trees in the Amazon, and the planet will benefit from that.

  • ken tilly says:

    Don’t believe a word that Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London utters. Can you really believe that somebody stated “Instead of being stopped in a parking lot and told ‘what a lovely car,’ now it’s a question. They say ‘that is a really polluting car, isn’t it?’” If you belive this you will believe anything.

  • john dichiaro says:

    Someone recently asked me that very question concerning my 1987 911. i told him to get back into his Pelosi-mobile and drive it off a cliff!

  • Jerry Cogan says:

    I have installed aftermarket Catalytic converters on my 83 Volvo with a 5.O Ford V-8 and Euro BMW E32 3.5, with no performance loss and now NO STINK or pollution. They are inexpensive and easy to install, no O2 sensors etc… It’ s an easy solution to this problem discussed.

  • studenorton says:

    I like that Detroit household-to-Woodward Cruise ratio. Just count the number of abandoned former households in the city, divide by 8, and that’s how many all-year-cruises you can legally have. It is a pretty impressive number.

  • studenorton says:

    Luckily for us, we have a 427 Corvette owner in the White House, and you can count on him no to let us down.

    • James says:

      If your solution is to force people to have collector car insurance, then you also have to force insurance companies to insure your collector car even if you don’t have a garage. I tried to get liability-only collector car insurance, I did find companies that did offer liability-only but they still said the car needed to be kept in a garage!? Why if it is liability-only does it matter if it’s in a garage? Discriminatory to us lower income people.

  • Ed Augustine says:

    Its a good thing our former President was not into Classics or they would be on there way out already. Maybe we could convince the former chief to support EV, which I am sure would kill the future of EV industry forever. Great discussion by all.

  • Alan A. Arthur says:

    Yes . This saving the planet & disarming Americans is why biden got the majority of votes. so quit complaining. the old saying “You get what you vote for”

  • chrlsful says:

    not sure what this means: “…To help lower-income drivers make repairs or replace cars after failing an emissions test, legislators approved a small smog-check fee that will soon go into place…” but it is an issue.
    Need to do the number crunchin to build ordinances that have an alternative (cant make illegal w/o alternatives) smog rate/age/mi and for specific vehicles (not all of the same Y/M/M classified the same – as I have done some stuff to make mine less polluting). If an EV is developed at the same rate (many do not have 500$/mo for a car) as a used – we “have a go”. How bout for collectors a pay/mi it’s driven (is that what a carbon tax is?).

  • Mark Monteiro says:

    Interesting comments. Wonder what a “Pelosi-mobile” would look like; scary for sure. Still two major issues with evs: how to refuel quickly, like at a gas station for ice car if you take a trip or run down, and what to do with the lithium batteries at the end of their life. Haven’t seen much discussion of either of these. My lithium batteries in my rechargeable tools are good for about three years. After that, new batteries are incredibly expensive, and you can’t just throw away the used ones. There must be millions in the USA alone. Av car lasts 12.1 years, I am told, far longer than an ev due to battery life. Just junk the carcass after the battery is finished? I like it that the Japanese are pursuing hydrogen…maybe they have something there.

  • I. Kant says:

    Has anybody considered the grossest polluting ICE that is strapped on the back of every gardener? That would be the leaf blower. Consider this, they run all day long using two-stroke fuel, they run at hearing-killing decibels and they do nothing but launch tons of pollution into the air only to fall on your beloved classics. Most of us don’t hear them anymore due to hearing loss or they’re ubiquitous presence. We should be focusing our attention on what’s really going on here. The Neanderthals in Sacramento and elsewhere don’t care about air pollution. They are jealous of us and our beautiful cars. Most of them have neither the ‘class’ nor the ‘eye’ to truly appreciate real beauty. I built my smog exempt classic hot rod so I could flip them all the bird. When eventually they come for my car, they’ll find the engine/trans holding up the coffee table and the rest of my beauty hanging on the wall of my man cave.

  • Kostas ptinis says:

    As a collector I would like to drive my cars to show them off. Looking into the future of classic cars I see electric retrofits ( not that this is less polluting) do to politically correct media fueled ideas. Eventually we will see classics getting displayed at shows with the hood closed and the original engine on a custom trailer next to it. I see the writing on the wall. I just wish the retrofit won’t be too expensive.

  • Bill Jenkins says:

    I see this problem. As when the oil and gas industry began some people got in early and ended up making billions of dollars. It seems this EV industry is in the same position where it is being pushed on us so people can get in at the start and eventually make billions of dollars.

  • JC says:

    I say our rights to own whatever car we choose and not be segregated because we enjoy and want to relish history by having a Hotrods or old cars is discriminatory! I guess next it will be muzzle loaders right!

  • Ron B says:

    The worlds focus should start with reducing emissions on transport ships. One cargo ship emits as much greenhouse gasses as 10000 cars. Focus on the big polluters first. The car enthusiast should be the least of their concerns.

  • Dr Mindbender says:

    More nonsense. Even if you could prove any of this greenhouse gas global warming nonsense (you can’t unless you believe in magical properties of ice cores), the majority of emissions is from industrial activities. The man on the street always gets the blame. The same people that control all industry are telling you the crap they sell you and all of their development is your fault!

  • Barry Dover says:

    Anyone ever heard the song “Red Barchetta” by Rush?

  • Derek dunaway says:

    First it was cow farts now classic cars when will this bullshit stop

  • Robert says:

    Now might be the time to invest in the manufacture of electrical cords. There’s gonna be a lot needed running from high-rise apartments to residents’ cars.

  • Alexander Riccio says:

    As a casual hobbyist, I actually wouldn’t be totally against some kind of more aggressive enforcement…. IF they gave us the outs and did it right. First, they’d have to actually crack down on all the non-road small engines that destroy local air quality across the country. Those shitty two stroke generators, cheap lawn equipment (leafblowers? They’re evil, I’m convinced), and other things in that category.

    But then they would have to give us a legal out. Explicitly legalize the use of currently “off road only” parts to improve emissions. How is it that an EFI conversion isn’t technically allowed, when it could tremendously reduce the pollution of my small block with a 2 barrel carburetor? They could even provide some technical support like the government does across the nation with agricultural extension offices. If someone would make it easy to retrofit an evaporative emissions control system, I’d happily put one in just to stop the stink!

  • JD says:

    I own a rare color 2013 Mustang. It’s obviously not classic, but in the last 5 months I’ve watched the trade in value go UP almost $5,000. That makes it an investment. All classics are an investment. The massive loss in money people who own a classic will incur is absolutely unacceptable from my estimation. I’m not one to quote the NRA, but “From my cold, dead hands…” These cars are a historically intrinsic part of our cultural fabric. To watch them be banned from roadways, where they BELONG is wrong. We need to stop being such pushovers collectively and start fighting against what is looking more and more questionable by the day. A future where we can’t enjoy these special vehicles that made a mark on over 100 years of human progress. It’s unfathomable to only see a Ferrari in the Smithsonian as a relic of a bygone era.

  • Matt says:

    My classic car is a 1993 Taurus Wagon with barely over 100k on it. Inside is mint, and outside there is light rust on bottom edges of the doors. It has a column shifter and front bench seat. I drive it in, and I feel comfortable. New cars tend to pack you into bucket seats and prevent movement. I drove a rental car for a couple days and got back and shoulder pain.

    EVs are great for a lot of people that put on some miles to work and back and errands around town for 90% fo the time. People that live in the country, or have to park on the street, not so much. I have a somewhat modern house, but to wire the garage for 240 and replace the breaker panel in the house (only 100amp, and no real room for expansion), would add several thousand in costs.

    I have doubts that used EVs will ever get to the point of the $1,000 beater that a lot of people need to get to work, child care, shopping. The battery is going to be junk, and far too expensive to fix.

  • Dave says:

    Here’s one for you, do you ever hear any politician ever mention the ever increasing size of homes being built these days? It seems the bigger the house, the less people that live in it. Consider the amount of fossil fuel it takes to heat it, the electricity to cool it, and all the materials in it were manufactured and delivered by fossil fuel powered trucks. Giant house, giant lawn and snow removal equipment are just another part. It’s nice, but why is it never ever mentioned? Talk about wasted energy! Why do two people need a 3000+ square foot home? I’m surprised that it is never mentioned.

    • dario says:

      they also forgot to mentioned that airforce one still flies on fossil fuel and not solar panels along with airliners , tanks, fighter jets ,cruise ships ,machines ,etc etc ..it appears that the business behind the electric car movement is greater than the need for a cleaner world .

  • Wayne Schell says:

    Hi, l don’t believe we can totaly get away from gas, but if we start using hydrogen as fule , the poluting vehicles will able to drive around , with no CO2 coming from them . Also if you use water to make the hydrogen , you can get about 750 miles per gal. of water .

    • dario says:

      I’m totally agree with you ,but hydrogen for some reason is not filling the pockets of corrupts law makers and car manufactures enough apparently ,might be the reason why we don’t have them now ,I believe they will be way better than the “electric garbage ” with a max of 200 miles and hrs of been stuck at a charging station .

  • Jozef Figel says:

    This brings to mind an article I read in Car and Driver a few yrs back comparing the latest Honda Insight and Toyota Prius to a 3 cylinder Suzuki Swift, the article caught my attention because my mom had a Swift which I used to borrow all the time when I was 17. The Suzuki had better fuel mileage in the city and hwy than both of its hybrid rivals, not sure about emissions, but that was an interesting result. All that tech and extra useless garbage weighing the newer cars down net less efficiency. Think of this, 1980’s Mini Cooper vs new Mini, whats better efficiency? 1991 Civic vs. new civic? 1990 Toyota Camry vs. new Camry? I think the idea that these new cars are more efficient, is a fallacy.

  • Michael says:

    I think, once all loopholes are sorted regarding classic plates and what not, that classics should be able to remain on roads. They only account for a miniscule percentage of pollution, considering everything else on the road is electric. I would personally like it if classics, if maintained to a certain degree could be daily driven. But I don’t know if that possible considering legislators potentially imposed regulations.

  • Giuseppe says:

    The truth is that the EV will save the planet is a hoax. There are a lot people who will get dirty rich with the EV, but I hope that the synthetic fuels will prevail so we can keep our classic cars – especially the classic muscle cars. I love the sound of an engine coming out from exhaust pipes of a 600 hp car. I love carburetors, headers, spark plugs, oil change, transmission fluid change… anything that has to do with an ICE. I have an 1981 Camaro Z/28 that has 600 hp, and I love her more than any other car in the world. I really hope that synthetic fuels will become a reality before it’s too late. Stop cutting trees in the Amazon, and the planet will benefit from that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More on this topic

Hagerty Insider Newsletter

Your weekly dose of auction reports, market analysis, and more.

Thank You!
Your request will be handled as soon as possible
Hagerty Insider Newsletter
Your weekly dose of auction reports, market analysis, and more.